Japan views joint Russian-Chinese air drills as a ‘threat’

Tokyo, Dec 1 (EFE).- Japan’s government said Thursday it was “seriously concerned” about China and Russia over joint air maneuvers carried out by both countries around the Japanese archipelago, which included strategic bomber combat aircraft and which Tokyo considers as a “threat” to its territory.

“We will closely monitor the growing cooperation between the two countries,” Japanese government Spokesman Hirokazu Matsuno said at a Thursday press conference about the exercises.

The participation of strategic bombers in the maneuvers in the vicinity of Japanese territory poses “a threat” to national security, Matsuno said, adding that Tokyo has conveyed its concern to Moscow and Beijing about their “frequent joint activities.”

Tokyo and Seoul preemptively deployed fighter jets Wednesday against the penetration of several Chinese and Russian aircraft into their respective Air Defense Identification Zones without notifying it.

These movements, which in no case involved intrusions into South Korean and Japanese airspace, have been repeated in the area by Russian and Chinese aircraft and were apparently integrated into the latest joint maneuvers carried out by both countries.

The Russian Aerospace Forces and the Chinese Air Force announced Wednesday that they had carried out the fifth joint patrol with strategic aircraft in the Asia-Pacific region.

“An air group consisting of Tu-95MS strategic missile carriers of the Russian Aerospace Forces and Hun-6k strategic bombers of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Air Force conducted air patrols over the waters of the Japan and China seas. East,” the Russian Defense Ministry said.

Moscow said at certain stages of the route the bombers “were accompanied by fighters from foreign states.”

The duration of the flight was about eight hours, during which Sukhoi Su-30SM and Sukhoi Su-35S fighters of the Russian Aerospace Forces provided fighter escort for the air group, it added.

Russian military authorities also said that for the first time in the course of joint air patrols, Russian planes landed at an airfield in the People’s Republic of China and Chinese planes landed at an airfield in the Russian Federation.

Russia stressed that “the aircraft of both countries acted strictly in accordance with the provisions of international law” and “there were no violations of the airspace of foreign states.” EFE


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